Friday 21 September 2018

'Starchitect' Dermot sets sights on Taoiseach Leo Varadkar's home for next renovation

Dermot Bannon
Dermot Bannon
Dermot Bannon from RTE's Room to Improve with Daniel and Majella O'Donnell, in Meenbanad, Co. Donegal. Photo: James Connolly
Dermot Bannon during shooting of RTE's Room to Improve with Daniel and Majella O'Donnell. Photo: James Connolly

Sean O'Grady

Dermot Bannon has set his sights on renovating Taoiseach Leo Varadkar's home.

It comes after he gave the Donegal home of Daniel and Majella O'Donnell the Bannon treatment.

Viewers will watch him renovate the singer's home in the new series of Room To Improve and the architect told how he would like to transform the Taoiseach's home as his next celebrity project.

"It would be nice to do a Taoiseach's house, wouldn't it? Something a little bit different. I should get in touch with Leo Varadkar. He's next on the list," he said.

Bannon (45) insisted the first episode is not a "celebrity special" and is treated like any other episode, although he believes viewers will see another side to Daniel and Majella they have not seen before.

"It's the same format. They've been in show business a long time and I think you see a different side to them on this because it's their money and it's their home," he said.

"I had to understand them and what they needed. They were very open with us filming it and it will show a different side to them.

"I thought what could they possibly need to do to their house? The house was big enough, they had enough room."

Dermot Bannon from RTE's Room to Improve with Daniel and Majella O'Donnell, in Meenbanad, Co. Donegal. Photo: James Connolly
Dermot Bannon from RTE's Room to Improve with Daniel and Majella O'Donnell, in Meenbanad, Co. Donegal. Photo: James Connolly

Dermot said Daniel didn't believe there was anything wrong with the house, but that it was dark and dreary in parts.

"Majella was very passionate about giving the house a different feel," he said.

"It felt like it could be anywhere in the country. There was nothing that related it back to Donegal and she wanted to change that."

Bannon believes the demand for architects to renovate homes has increased in recent times with the housing crisis as many people are opting to revamp their current home rather than spend more money on a new one.

"A lot of people are stuck in their homes. House prices have gone through the roof again and there's nowhere to buy so people are looking to their homes and thinking, 'what can we do with what we have?'," he said.

"Instead of moving, we're thinking, 'can I put an extension on it or work it differently?'

"For a lot of my clients, moving sometimes might be a better option but they're in a community and the kids are going to school.

"Budgets are tight but where people would have moved before, they're now looking to change what's in their existing home."

Room To Improve is on RTE One on Sunday at 9.30pm

Herald

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